Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Those of you that have been following the career development of Switzerland’s thrash metal band Comaniac know already that they are capable of playing thrash that is highly creative and it is a formula that works. Their 3rd studio album called Holodox has just been released on September 4, 2020 and I’m one of those people that reviews and analyzes albums as I listen to them.
The Style of "Holodox" and the Lyrical Themes of the Album
Holodox is an album that is a combination of later era Helstar combined with Kreator and what results is thrash metal that is melodic and highly creative. The album lyrically is about some of the aspects of the decline of human nature. One example of this is in the album’s title track which lyrically is about the fact that humans have been led to a path where they are denied the truth of what really happened. Is freedom really a lie? We can surmise that this depends to a degree what nation you live in. Of course if you are a thrash metal band it is a good idea to start off the album with speed but if you can make that speed fit in with the rest of the musical components of the album, that is what the main ingredient is in an elite metal album and thrash metal is no different.
Analysis of the Songs Art is Dead and Head of the Snake
The song “Art is Dead” is a creative mid-tempo Slayer influenced song that tries to tell us that the metal music is dead and the way of art is dead but is it really that way? Far from there being a metal music deadlock, there is a resurgence of metal music with certain nations making progress in the genre including Switzerland to a degree. Again we hear traces of melody in this song that sound very much like Kreator. "Head of the Snake" is a song in which we can look at two ways, the first of which is the literal interpretation in which we are being pursued by a snake literally. The second way that we can analyze this song is doing what we can to cut off the head of the snake, the snake being a metaphor to describe an unjust and cruel system in which the citizens of a nation become exploited and taken advantage. The song slows down rather nicely as we are treated to some impressive melody which is both old and modern. The song also says that the only way to free yourself is to let that snake eat the infidel. Infidel is a term that has had a very negative connotation throughout the years.
"Art is Dead"
The song Narcotic Clan has a beginning riff before the song really speeds up and then there is this scream. The song stylistically is a sort of mix of Helstar combined with the band Annihilator. Does anyone remember the song called Deadlock? There’s also something to be said about the song Legend Heaven which begins with a beautiful acoustic part before the thrash metal parts kick in and add a little melody. The song is lyrically about the fact that although some of us grow up to think that life is worth living, it gets to a point that when we see pain, suffering, and injustice, we wonder what is going on. For some people the idea of there being a heaven is a lie. None of us knows with any certainty where we will go after we die. That is one of the biggest unanswered questions of our time. When it feels like the weight of the world is on us, for some of us the only way out is to end life right there and in these current times, the rise of mental illness is prevalent. The song though is one of those that is another gem in a brand new album.
Final Thoughts About "Holodox"
It may sound kind of cheesy and outdated to state this but Holodox is one of those metal releases in which the songs fit in very well with the context of the album and it does not feel like it is one that seems to drag on. It doesn’t have that sort of long feel like Death Magnetic by Metallica. It is also not a standard fast thrash metal album like we would have heard so many years ago. Is “Holodox” a perfect album? Not too many metal albums are that good to be in the flawless category and it is so tough to categorize any metal album as such unless they are of such high quality that you really can’t see anything wrong with them. The strongest songs in Holodox are several including Art is Dead, Under the Gun, Head of the Snake, Narcotic Clan and Legend Heaven.